Eugenics victim receives third and final check from the state - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Eugenics victim receives third and final check from the state

Elnora Brashears got her third and final check from the state’s Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims Saturday. (Source: WECT) Elnora Brashears got her third and final check from the state’s Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims Saturday. (Source: WECT)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

Elnora Brashears got her third and final check from the state’s Office of Justice for Sterilization Victims Saturday.

Brashears is one of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized as a teenager. The sterilization was part of the  state’s eugenics program that ran from 1929 to 1974.

“They said I was unfit to have a child. It’s in my papers. They said I was unfit,” Brashears said.

Brashears didn’t find out about her sterilization until 2012 from a story that Jon Evans did about the program. Ever since, she has been trying to hold the state accountable.

Lawmakers decided to compensate the victims under the 2013 budget bill with a series of three checks adding up to $45,000 for each victim.

“It just hurts. Sometimes I just sit around here and cry,” Brashears said.

Brashears says she called those lawmakers up to three times a week to figure out why it was taking so long to get those checks.

“They said they were going to compensate the people who they fixed and they were sorry what happened. But, they don’t realize they ruined us not every having children and how they feel if they were fixed could not have children,” she said.

Lawmakers also told her that they had to go through all of the appeals from people who claimed to be eugenics victims and were denied money from the NC Industrial Commission.

When the final check did come in the mail, a check for $10,454.54, Brashears said it was about time.

“I’m glad it’s over with. Now I can rest,” she said.

The ordeal, she said, over with, but not the pain it caused.

“One thing money cannot buy is children. Because you can’t hold them and love them, see them grow up, go to school. It’s a hurting feeling,” Brashears said.

And not something she will ever forget.

“It will stay in my mind until the day I die. What they did to all of us,” she said.

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